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John Lee, COO of NGP VAN, Wins Campaigns & Elections’ CampaignTech Innovator Award


Today, John Lee, NGP VAN’s Chief Operating Officer, was recognized with the prestigious Campaign Innovator award from Campaigns & Elections Magazine.

Innovators have developed a legacy of innovation and collaboration using technology to inform, enable, and engage voters and constituents on behalf of political or issue advocacy campaign

s. Winners of the award all demonstrate a visionary approach to the future of digital politics and advocacy.

“I’m truly honored to receive this award,” Lee said. “I look forward to contributing to NGP VAN’s ongoing innovation and powering the progressive technology infrastructure, and I want to thank NGP VAN’s staff for their tireless contributions to innovation.”

“John started at VAN as an intern, but even then we knew he was something special,” said Stu Trevelyan, CEO of NGP VAN. “He has risen to become our COO, and leads our most important projects to maintain the Democratic technology advantage.”

Lee was recognized for his innovation and leadership at NGP VAN, the leading technology provider to Democratic campaigns and progressive organizations. His chief achievements include:

  • Leading the merger of NGP and VAN in 2011, bringing together Democrats’ two most powerful campaign tools (field organizing and fundraising/compliance) into one integrated platform. The merger has given Democrats an unmistakable technology advantage much envied by Republicans.
  • Working closely with Obama’s digital team to provide integrated tools that helped make their field operations more efficient. Led by John, NGP VAN revamped its events system in VAN, helping the Obama team manage nearly 400,000 volunteers and over 3.8 million volunteer shifts; NGP VAN was a critical part of Obama’s online platform, giving the campaign real-time, actionable data. John also oversaw the creation of the canvassing tool for Obama’s mobile app, allowing canvassers and campaign headquarters to have real-time data and reallocate resources as needed.
  • Revolutionizing the way campaigns communicate with voters by leading the creation of Social Organizing, a tool that allows a campaign’s or organization’s supporters to match their Facebook friends to the voter file and take targeted actions. John helped oversee the creation of Social Organizing, from the initial concept to the second release of the tool. John’s leadership on social is going to change the way that campaigns approach voters. Social Organizing has been recognized with the AAPC’s Campaign Excellence Award for Best New Technology, as well as two Reed Awards from Campaigns and Elections Magazine: the Most Innovative Product of the Year Award and the Best Use of Social Networking Technology Award (for the Elizabeth Warren for Senate campaign's use of Social Organizing).


NGP VAN is the leading technology provider to Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations, offering clients an integrated platform of the best fundraising, field, and digital products. NGP VAN counts thousands of Democratic campaigns and progressive organizations amongst its clients, including President Obama’s re-election, all the national Democratic committees, thousands of Democratic campaigns including almost every winning Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, most of the U.S. House winning candidates, and hundreds of labor unions, progressive and non-partisan PACs, and other organizations. Over the course of the 2012 election cycle, NGP VAN’s products saw enormous activity:

  • VAN, the field product, powered over 260 million phone calls and 92 million door knocks.
  • NGP, the fundraising product, helped Democratic clients raise over $2 billion dollars this cycle -- the vast majority of money raised by Democrats.
  • NGP VAN Digital products (which are recommended by the DCCC, DLCC, EMILY’s List, and America Votes) sent hundreds of millions of emails, helping clients raise hundreds of millions of dollars online, from millions of supporters.